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Alpha Protocol: Apparently now an Obsidian gossip thread

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I do remember that there was supposedly a save editor to edit, among other things, the status of your relationships. Heck If I'd know where to find it though

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    l337CrappyJackl337CrappyJack Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I dunno, I just did a Veteran run where I was always suave, got the job done quietly, all that. Marburg didn't know I was in Rome until I met him, he was constantly impressed by my abilities, I'd never met SIE, let alone knew they worked together, and I even stopped the bombs. I pretty much did everything he would like, and I was still able to piss him off enough to goad him into that fight at the end.

    Cross my heart, swear on Chris Avellone's life, it's possible to do. But I'll admit I was scared as hell thinking it wasn't gonna happen. It is possible to get him to hate you based entirely on words, it's just hard to balance out with doing things he'd like.

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    OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I can't believe I'm putting this much effort into this, but I have downloaded a hex editor and busted open a save game

    I've found the hex string that I think is tied to Marburg's reputation, but like fuck if I know what to change to make it all bad and I'd rather not break my game in half trying to figure it out

    My inability to kill Marburg is killing my enthusiasm for replaying this game

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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    jdarksun wrote: »
    The rewards built-in to the game refute that line of logic, but it's nice argument from a fluff point of view.

    1) You're rewarded for max/min Reputation.
    2) The game gives you a tool to achieve that goal.
    3) Typically, one (and only one) response leads to max "positive" gain, while one (and only one) leads to max "negative" gain.
    4) Therefore, there are typically 3 (ish) "wrong" answers, selections that are (or can be) antithetical to your goal.

    1. Not only. While several things change a neutral stance also has an effect
    4. Which also means there are typical 3 "right" answers.


    Really I still don't see how anything is wrong. You don't have to min/max everything. Its something I only did in subsequent playthroughs to gain access to for example the early Marburg fight. Yes, in these playthroughs the answer was wrong to me. But it doesn't make the influence of the other answers any less valid. (And yet again there are other effects besides min-maxing releationship)

    Edit: To be even more clear here. What do you understand under "wrong" choices?

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    StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Olivaw wrote: »
    I can't believe I'm putting this much effort into this, but I have downloaded a hex editor and busted open a save game

    I've found the hex string that I think is tied to Marburg's reputation, but like fuck if I know what to change to make it all bad and I'd rather not break my game in half trying to figure it out

    My inability to kill Marburg is killing my enthusiasm for replaying this game

    Even with the bonuses during the first conversation with him, it's possible to offset that and have him dislike you from the start. While it might be too late to be useful, here are the conversation nodes I've confirmed:
    As you know, you get certain pluses or minuses depending on your prior conduct. Here are the ones I know of:

    +/- 1 inverse to your positive/negative relationship with SIE
    +1 if you've chosen duty and mission-oriented responses when prompted; the key seems to be telling Westridge you want to serve your country ('Duty' node during in-person meeting, though I'm not sure if this is the only important one)
    +2 if you've completed Marburg's dossier thus far
    -1 if you've killed anyone in Rome so far (setting off alarms/KOs at the CIA post don't count)

    Dialog nodes for the Contact Al-Bara/Halbech Employee mission (not verbatim quotes):

    1) Marburg sits down, asks you to switch off your transmitter.
    - Suave/Aggressive nodes (Introduction?/Just try it) -1

    2) Broadcast your arrival/gave away your location.
    - Suave/Aggressive nodes (Eventually/Draw you out) -1

    3) You've been an inconvenience.
    - Aggressive node (Threaten) -1

    4) I am a cautious person.
    - No negative options

    5) We know you've been in contact with someone.
    - Suave node (Bluff) -1

    6) Leave Rome.
    - Suave node (Persuade) -1

    Basically, it's possible to get most of the starting bonuses and still have Marburg dislike you; in my current playthrough I got him down to -3, with the bonuses adding up to +2 (patriotism/dossier, partly offset by SIE).

    The SIE and Duty bonuses require a bit of foresight. There's no non-lethal way around the kill penalty, and completing Marburg's dossier is apparently necessary for him to stay and fight. The NSA and CIA post missions both have a piece of the dossier, so it might be possible to avoid doing those until after you meet him; not sure if missions disappear once you clear Al-Bara's mansion, can someone verify?

    What I can say is his rep doesn't have to be super low to get him to fight. Wikia suggests -3 or lower, which is possible even if you got all the bonuses at the start. You can get a -1 if you Bluff when prompted at Marburg's villa. Going after Madison at the Museum is another -1, +1 if you go after the bombs. Just before the fight (either way), pick Contempt and then Mocking for another -1 apiece. If it's down low enough and the dossier's full, pick the dossier option after he stops fighting to taunt you.

    Worst case scenario: full starting bonuses, all negative options picked, you end the restaurant conversation at -1. Pick up another -1 at the villa. You get a +1 for going after the bombs, but can get -2 in the following conversation. That puts you at -3, which, coupled with a full dossier, should be enough. Anything extra you can get along the way is just padding.

    (Disclaimer: I have not fully tested the museum section; I got him to fight at -4, I'll try getting it to -3 when I can. Mike references Deus Vult during the confrontation, and you can learn about that via an email chain from Mina, but I'm not certain that actually plays a role in allowing Mike to mention it.)

    Sorry if that's a bit wordy. Hope it helps.

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    KainyKainy Pimpin' and righteous Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I heard Avellone mentioned on the last page.

    As in Planescape: Torment Chris Avellone?

    Kainy on
    IcyLiquid wrote: »
    There's anti-fuckery code in there now :) Sorry :)
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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Kainy wrote: »
    I heard Avellone mentioned on the last page.

    As in Planescape: Torment Chris Avellone?

    Yup, he was the lead designer on this. Well, at least at the 2nd revision.

    He wrote nearly all the spoken dialog in this game.

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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yes.

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    He wrote most (all?) of the dialogue and worked on the story, so yes, that Avellone.

    Don't go in expecting the next Planescape, though.

    Edit: The three of us, here in this moment on this new page. This is a bond.

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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Its the new planescape in the form of very good story elements paired with unbalanced/bad combat. (Well its less avoidable here but more fun as soon as you get the system than PST combat. Which means nothing.)

    Its a totally different setting though and a homage to spy movies. So theres no philosophical question behind it.

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The combat's not nearly so terrible as Planescape's, and seemed like 50/50 with people liking it or not. I thought it was mediocre, but that discussion has been had repeatedly.

    What I meant, though, was a decade from now AP will not be venerated the way Planescape or a few others (Arcanum?) are.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PST levels of remembrance won't happen. But Arcanum or vampire:colons levels? I could see it

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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The combat's not nearly so terrible as Planescape's, and seemed like 50/50 with people liking it or not. I thought it was mediocre, but that discussion has been had repeatedly.

    What I meant, though, was a decade from now AP will not be venerated the way Planescape or a few others (Arcanum?) are.

    Actually its on the best way to it. Bloodlines will probably always hold the top title in terms of action/rpg hybrids with that mechanic for rpg fans and deus ex for most others. But it already has gained a little cult following that grows steadily. There are even people that call it their GOTY.

    With time this will only grow.

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    StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    One thing this game is really good at is catharsis.

    In games where the option presents itself, I tend to start non-lethal, growing gradually more violent as the situation gets worse. Eventually I hit a tipping point where I just flat-out start murdering dudes.

    In my first run through AP, this was Marburg's villa. After much care spent avoiding civilian security guards, official police forces, and even the odd mobster or terrorist who was clearly in way over their head, I finally encountered clear-cut bad guys that could not be more deserving of death short of... I dunno, flipping off a box of kittens or something. Even still I tried to play it quiet, right until the game room. Something like eight guys, all suddenly alerted to my presence, all working for some evil asshole who openly admitted he was going to make my life a living hell.

    I loaded up incendiary rounds on the shotty, started overclocking frag grenades, and got busy. It was nicely bookended by one last dude running into the room, smack into my push dagger as I scored a stealth kill before he actually saw me. Then, just for spite, I went around shooting random paintings and smashing every pane of glass I could find.

    This is what happens, Marburg! This is what happens!

    Edit: In a related story, I just found out that if you set off an alarm at the end of that mission, a chopper can spawn in the courtyard and start raining missiles on you. It is possible to shoot it down; clip and a half of APDS rounds did the trick.

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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yeah, the chopper was new to me until my last run.

    I've probably played that scene more than a dozen times and I'd never seen it before.

    This is the magic of Alpha Protocol.

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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aaaand that's the last two.

    I was worried when I started this run, since I was pretty sure No Compromise, No Mercy and Judge, Jury and Executioner were mutually exclusive as
    NCNM requires you to fight Westridge at the end

    but after that fight I got another ending sequence with the people I needed for the cheevo.

    I also managed to straight up
    execute Mina
    this time, which was a first. I didn't know that was even possible.

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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I also managed to straight up
    execute Mina
    this time, which was a first. I didn't know that was even possible.

    What in the world? D:

    Now I have to play through it again. Can you give specifics?

    C2B on
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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    C2B wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I also managed to straight up
    execute Mina
    this time, which was a first. I didn't know that was even possible.

    What in the world? D:

    Now I have to play through it again. Can you give specifics?
    Sure
    I had her at Hatred, and pulled the dossier on her during the last conversation before I started infiltrating. We had the conversation about her being the one that burned me.

    Then I went in, she mouthed off, I mouthed back, she said something about why don't you just kill me and I took the "leave her" option. Then when the conversation ended, her chair was up-ended and she was on the ground in a pool of her own blood. Mission report at the end talked about me executing her.

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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    C2B wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I also managed to straight up
    execute Mina
    this time, which was a first. I didn't know that was even possible.

    What in the world? D:

    Now I have to play through it again. Can you give specifics?

    It's really not that hard at all.
    Be a complete dick(to other people as well,) and make sure that Mina 100% hates you. This is best achieved by killing anyone she doesn't want you to kill, and be a terrible person in front of her.
    When you get to the point where you can free her, she will actually give a speech about how she hates you so much that she doesn't even want to be freed by you. Then you shoot her.

    Oh hey, Zed did it better because he remembered the dossier use.

    Rainfall on
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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    jdarksun wrote: »
    I've been putting "wrong" in quotes because there aren't really any wrong answers, except in relation to an external goal.

    As an example, look at the whole Marbug thing. Let's say you want to kill him. You need to get reputation down to a certain level, which requires foreknowledge of what to choose in prior dialogs and events. A dialog choice that causes you to deviate from that path is a "wrong" answer.

    Same goes for any answer that cause you to deviate from a Perk or Influence goal (positive or negative).

    Well yeah. I get you there. But such a thing is unavoidable.

    I mean. What exactly are we discussing about?

    Avellone spoke from a point out that said that there are no wrong answers in the sense off that there are no answers that don't have any sort of effect (like in other RPGs) and are therfore "wrong".

    C2B on
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    initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Honestly first time gamers probably don't know what specific actions they're working toward so that argument generally doesn't apply there and the experience is very organic and people playing through multiple times for achievements or to see different things enter into a sort of different meta-game. It still works well though even if you come back at the game knowing, for example that if you're suave to marburg he's going to fucking hate you pretty quickly

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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Bioptic wrote: »
    Can you "turn" him though? I got supremely high reputation with him, and
    subsequent to my endgame capture and discussion with Leland, I briefly got the opportunity to talk with him and convince him that his future didn't lie with Halbech. I never got a chance to see how that played out, since I
    told Parker about what Marburg had tried to do to Madison, and was forced to kill him.
    Assuming you refused to join with Leland, after the last boss fight, Marburg shows up, Leland tries to get him to fight/kill you, to which Marburg looks at the two of your like this happens everyday, goes "Hmmm" and walks off, leaving you to do whatever you planned to do with him.

    At least that's what happened with me, I also
    turned Scarlet, turned/didn't tell Parker about Madison, fought Leland as the final boss, and tried to arrest him
    so one or more of those might also have to happen for turning Marburg to play out.

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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    jdarksun wrote: »
    C2B wrote: »
    I mean. What exactly are we discussing about?
    The concept I put forth was that polarized rewards undermine the concept of "no 'wrong' choice."

    An alternative might be to (for example) grant a "-1% Cooldown Bonus on all abilities" for each influence loss with Mina (up to a maximum of 10).

    Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing? I mean, if it's a stacking buff for each step towards like/dislike, then there is still a *wrong* answer: one that takes you back the other way to a weaker version of a buff.

    ...and even if you make every step have a completly different, non-stacking buff, there would still be wrong answers, because you want the "slight annoyed but still partners" buff, not the one above or below it.

    Another arguement: the *right* and *wrong* choice when it comes to what to say to people only arrises when a previous choice: "Do I want this guy to like me or hate my guts?" has been answered, and that choice has not right or wrong answer as far as gameplay rewards goes.

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    Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    i played through this pretty recently. i think it was worth picking up and playing through for $24, which is what it cost me. but damn, what a frustratingly uneven game. when its on its on, and the conversation stuff is really fun, and i like the setting. but thats all strung out between too many bugs and frustratingly unfun and/or broken gameplay. i think a sequel could have been really really good, but i guess when you put out a game that bombs critically and financially (for very real reasons) you dont get the luxury of saying "we'll get em next time".

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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    It's more like we're upset that they came out and said the Metacritic score was too low.

    edit: And that was the reason they weren't going to make another one.

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    Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    whos upset about what now? i havent followed this thread, i just saw it on the front page and was all "oh i played that".

    Ah_Pook on
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    MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Wait, your wording is confusing me; you mean that the -1% would reduce the amount of time needed to use the ability again, or would increase the amount of time? The phrasing is ambiguous.

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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    whos upset about what now? i havent followed this thread, i just saw it on the front page and was all "oh i played that".

    That would be the people at Sega, who flat-out told us that there wouldn't be a sequel or any future support(like a patch release) for Alpha Protocol.

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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The only way to avoid pushing relationships to the edges being the "right" method would be either a) giving each handler a specific, discrete effect at each level of relationship (-10 to +10) or b) removing the effects from the relationship track altogether.

    The first would be so complex as to bewilder most players and the latter would remove any weight from the handler relationship altogether.

    OptimusZed on
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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    The only way to avoid pushing relationships to the edges being the "right" method would be either a) giving each handler a specific, discrete effect at each level of relationship (-10 to +10) or b) removing the effects from the relationship track altogether.

    The first would be so complex as to bewilder most players and the latter would remove any weight from the handler relationship altogether.

    And yet still both had some sort of effect in the story of the game. And if you didn't want that path or that stat bonus it would still be "wrong".

    I'm seriously not getting what we are here discussing. Reprecussions of your actions or simple Statboni. Because I can't really see what the second has to do with ANYTHING in regards to it.

    C2B on
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    initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I never even noticed a handler bonus in the game. It's not that dramatic of an effect anyway. If the handler's had no bonuses the story is still strong enough to drive the relationship part

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I dunno, I find the mechanical bonus pretty irrelevant as far as reputation goes.

    Personally I find game design stuff like bosses escaping via cutscene much more annoying, but at least AP stands out in (possibly) mitigating that eventually.

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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Mina's Hatred bonus was really the only one I was routinely happy to have.

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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Dunno why everyone's so down on Mina. Yeah she manipulated you, but it led to you ya know not dying

    I will say that she looks pretty dumb though.

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    C2BC2B SwitzerlandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    Dunno why everyone's so down on Mina. Yeah she manipulated you, but it led to you ya know not dying

    I will say that she looks pretty dumb though.

    I love the charachter to be honest. I mean I don't even see it as a betrayal. She used me, yes. But it really wouldn't have been worse than any other situation this could have ended.


    And I am a forgiving man.:winky:

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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    The only way to avoid pushing relationships to the edges being the "right" method would be either a) giving each handler a specific, discrete effect at each level of relationship (-10 to +10) or b) removing the effects from the relationship track altogether.

    The first would be so complex as to bewilder most players and the latter would remove any weight from the handler relationship altogether.

    I think What jdarksun is talking about is that relationship bonuses shouldn't be a slider tied to the character's like-dislike, but two seperate bars that acummulate positive and negative resposes, i.e. how Paragon/Renegade works in ME.

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    OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I like Mina

    I probably like Scarlet a little bit more though, but that might be because I have a thing for chicks with guns

    Mina certainly helped you out a lot over the course of the game, even if she was totally manipulating you

    +15 endurance is pretty neat too

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    StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Mina's all right, I just wish you weren't forced to have her as a handler all the time.

    Anyhoo, doing more testing on the Marburg thing. Negative rep and a full dossier don't seem to be the sole triggers; got him to -5, max dossier (minus secret fact, which doesn't show up until the endgame) and background on Deus Vult from Mina. No go regardless of the options.

    Wikia makes it sound like you have to consistently pick more Suave options than the others over the course of the game, which sounds... asinine. Away from my computer at the moment so I'll have to mess with this when I get home.

    Incidentally, SIE apparently likes it when you shoot the piano in Marburg's villa.

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    l337CrappyJackl337CrappyJack Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Blame that on Obsidian's time management skills. Originally the plan was that you'd be able to choose which handler helps you after Saudi; Westridge, Darcy, or Mina.

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Olivaw wrote: »
    +15 endurance is pretty neat too

    That always seemed backwards to me. I needed the endurance more when I was slaughtering dudes and pissing her off than when I was being completely stealthy and KOing people, which the cooldown bonus would have been nice for.
    Stolls wrote: »
    Wikia makes it sound like you have to consistently pick more Suave options than the others over the course of the game, which sounds... asinine.

    That would be pretty stupid. I assumed it was suave options when talking to Marburg, or maybe in Rome. Maybe try that?
    Blame that on Obsidian's time management skills. Originally the plan was that you'd be able to choose which handler helps you after Saudi; Westridge, Darcy, or Mina.

    I would have liked it much better if you could choose handlers from the non-AP group for like every mission. I was liking SIE when I did all of Moscow first, but then then she pretty much disappeared for the rest of the game until out of nowhere at the end. Like, Madison would be useless and wouldn't know what was going on anyway, so she wouldn't be an option, but Albatross has no reason to favor one region over another.

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